Review: Beyond Good and Evil HD (PS3)


Beyond Good and Evil was last generation’s most underrated game. The game, which came out in late 2003, had an amazing, futuristic plot of war and devastation. It featured some of the most unforgettable characters in the gaming world, and could have been an instant success. It did not, however, live up to expectations set forth by it’s developer, and therefore, not a lot of people played it. Fast forward to 2009, when Ubi Soft teased that it was making a sequel to the game. Not much has been heard about that sequel, yet it has not been officially cancelled yet.

Now, fast forward to today. Earlier this year, Ubi Soft released Beyond Good and Evil HD for the Xbox 360, and more recently, the Playstation 3. The release saw the addition of new, beautiful HD graphics, which are a total plus to those who played the original (I was lucky enough to have played the original, and it is one of my favorite games of last generation). Does the plot hold up to today’s cinematic standards for gaming? In one word–yes.

The game revolves around Jade, a photographer who becomes involved in a government conspiracy. Her planet, Hillys, is at war with the Dom’Z, a fearless group who will stop at nothing to take over the planet, which is a rich mining planet. With the help of her man-pig uncle Pey’j, as well as other characters that you’ll meet throughout the journey, and her trusty camera, you set off through various areas within Hillys, snapping pictures of the conspiracy unfolding, defeating bad guys, and driving bad ass vehicles. The concept of this game is great.

The game also allows you to participate in various side quests that are essential to your survival through the game. There are hovercraft races, games, and photo sessions, for example. There are several collectibles to obtain throughout the journey as well. The new version also adds trophy/achievement support too, giving you even more to do in the game. You’ll be busy with this one for a while.

Controlling the game is pretty straight forward–since the Xbox and Playstation 2 controllers are not much different than their current generational counterparts, it allowed for smooth transition of the control schemes from those previous versions. The only issue that I have, and it’s kinda a big one, is the game’s camera. It was a problem with the original release, and not much was done to fix it here. The camera will occasionally get stuck, forcing you to go the wrong way or do something you’re not intending on doing. It also makes the visuals get a little wonky. I would have loved to see better support here. You use the Square button to attack your enemies, which is incredibly easy. You’ll also earn different moves, such as a disk that you can shoot at your foes, as the game progresses.

Graphically, the game looks just as much beautiful now as it did back in 2003. On the last generation consoles, this one really stood out. It doesn’t necessarily stand out by today’s standards, but the addition of HD graphics make it look great. The game has a very cartoony feel to it in some places, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but, it might cause confusion if the sequel is made (the trailer showed very realistic environments). Character models look fantastic here for a game that is almost a decade old, too.

Difficulty wise, this game is actually pretty easy to complete. If you’re the type that just likes to go straight through without really worrying about the collectibles that you can obtain, the game itself is not that difficult. If you are aiming to get all of the trophies in the game, you’ll have to collect all 88 pearls, all of the M-Disks, and take pictures of every single animal in the game. It doesn’t seem all that hard, but it could be time consuming. Please don’t get me wrong, there is some challenge to the game, specifically when hiding from enemies, but overall, the game is not that difficult.

Overall, I was very impressed with the game back in 2003, and with this re-release, I have even more reason to be impressed. At a price point of $9.99, it’s very hard to turn down, whether you are a fan of the game or someone who has never heard of it. Despite the problems with the camera, it’s a fun game with plenty to do, and if it sells well enough, we might just see that sequel. I give Beyond Good and Evil HD a 4 out of 5 stars, and with that, a Digital Lust Silver Award.